Today: [Luke 22 Part 2] The Master Stands Accused: In the second part of our chapter Jesus groans out the final agonies in Gethsemane while the disciples slumber on. The soldiers arrive and rush Him off to the confrontation with the scribes and elders. The price of heaven’s best is about to be paid for your sin and for mine!
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[Luk 22:35-51 KJV]
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here [are] two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. 39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? 49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
After the Last Supper Jesus instructs the disciples regarding the mission to spread the gospel after His resurrection. He has made plain to them that He will die, that they will all forsake them so these words must have seemed incongruous to Jesus’ listeners. Nonetheless, Jesus in the very hour of His greatest passion, speaks to these men regarding very mundane matters. He reminds them that when they went out at the first, they took nothing with them, no money, not even a change of clothes. Now the instructions change. They are to take their purse (or money) if they happen to have money. If they don’t have a sword they are instructed to take it with them. What is this commentary on? Aren’t we supposed to bare our breast to the persecutors, even to the point of death? Then why is Jesus instructing us to arm ourselves for the journey? Likewise the instructions are to take whatever clothes are necessary. The things Jesus has spoken of for months and years with these men is about t come to pass. Sensing the urgency of the hour the disciples come up with two swords and Jesus says “it is enough…”
In verse 37 Jesus references Isa. 53:12 with the understanding that this verse was about to be fulfilled where He was concerned. Here we see the close relationship Jesus had with the scriptures. Luke 2:52 says that Jesus in His youth grew in wisdom and in stature. We tend to think that in understanding Himself Jesus was drawing on some hidden well of inspiration and self-realization that we don’t have access to. This is contrary to what the testimony of the scriptures say regarding this very thing. Much, if not all of what Jesus understood about who He was came from His inquiry into the word of God. The word of God informed Him who He was and the word of God informed US who WE ARE.
Now we accompany Jesus and His disciples out to the mount of Olives, one of Jesus’ favorite haunts. He turns to the disciples and midst them to pray that they would not enter into temptation. What was the temptation? The temptation was to give into the temporal and relinquish the eternal. Things were about to happen that would rock them to their core. Rather than pray they are exhausted with sorrow over the words of Jesus regarding His impending death. Question: If they had prayed, would their prayers merely been religious banalities, or would they have given these men strength for the role they would play in the next few hours?
Jesus goes on before the drowsy disciples and cries out to God that if it were possible that the cup of suffering ahead for Him might be avoided. Knowing the answer in the same sentence Jesus simply resigns Himself to what is ahead. Instantly an angel appears to comfort Him and strengthen Him. Oh, the humanity! That the Savior of the World, the Potentate of the Universe might in His frail and human condition be so in need of strength that He could draw comfort from a lowly angel sent from Heaven. Even with that supernatural support, the agony seizes upon Jesus. Great drops of blood are forced out His pores by the stress of this hour. He drags Himself to His feet even now, forsaking His own horrible suffering, to go check on the disciples. What are they doing? Sleeping. He tries to rouse them, “why are you sleeping!” Let me ask you – is that a valid question for you today? Are you sleeping when you should be praying? Imagine the frustration and the contradiction of this moment when suddenly – it’s too late! The betrayer is here.
[Luk 22:52-71 KJV]
52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? 53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. 54 Then took they him, and led [him], and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. 58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. 59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this [fellow] also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. 60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. 61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. 63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote [him]. 64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. 66 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, 67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask [you], ye will not answer me, nor let [me] go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.
One of the 12 (we know to be Peter) leaps up, sword in hand and cuts off the servant of the high priest’s ear. Jesus stays Peter’s hand and with a touch the ear is completely restored as before. He looks at the felons before Him masquerading as temple guard and asks them why they didn’t apprehend them in Solomon’s porch, openly? He is reminding them that He knows quite well their motives and their avarice against Him. The mob manhandles Jesus, taking Him away with them and Peter follows afar off. He yet has a role to play in this theatre of the macabre. Jesus is hustled into the residence of the high priest and Peter remains outside, attuning his ear to any word or activity he can discern regarding Jesus’ fate. A little maid recognizes Peter (always the big mouthed fisherman) and challenges him. He plays it coy, saying “no I do not know Him…” Then another confronts Peter again and with greater unease Peter replies “no, no, not me…” Finally one more time and terror grips Peter’s heart and cursing as the cock crows the final time, He denies knowing Jesus again at the very moment when in the distance Jesus turns and looks at Peter full on in the face. Peter is agonized. He doesn’t have what it takes to stand fast. He groans and flees the residence, weeping bitterly.
Turning their attention from Peter the men that held Jesus blindfold Him and brutalize His body raining blows down upon Him, all the while spewing out blasphemies against the Lord of Glory, the Darling of Heaven. Finally the elders arrive and more formally ask Jesus “are you the Christ?”. Jesus simply replies that no matter what He says now, the elders will not believe. They balk at this and Jesus presses His point declaring that from this day He shall be seen at the right hand of God Himself, manifesting His power. That was all that these men were waiting for, Jesus has sealed His fate and the final act of this tragic affair is about to unfold.
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